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Old 02-04-2007, 01:08 PM   #1
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German Blue Ram -Failure

I've got a 20 gallon tank, lightly planted, driftwood, rocks, a cave, it has lots of hiding places.
Living there are 5 neon tetras, 1 guppy, 2 African dwarf frogs, one Sail Fin pleco (3 inches).
My pH is 6.8, ammonia is 0, and NitrAtes are around 20ppm.
Last water change was 20% about a week ago.

So I brought home 2 Rams and let their bags sit in the tank for about 30 min then started adding tank water to the bag. 30 min later I let them in.

Two days later they're both dead.

The first day they were hiding, but I expected as much. They ate a little finely chopped frozen tuna steak, which I feed to the frogs.
The next day they were completely still, one sitting on the bottom of the tank tilting over to one side. Their mouths were gulping really quickly - I don't know if that is normal. They wouldn't eat blood worms or flakes even when put right next to them. the next morning they were both laying on the bottom of the tank.

All of my other fish are healthy and happy. Or so they seem. They are all active, eat like horses, and are clean.

Any advice that will keep me from repeating this disaster.
I'm sort of new to this but things have been going well so far.
Thanks
pairustwo.
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:16 PM   #2
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did you test nitrItes? GBRs, IME are very very sensitive. Maybe try drip acclimation next time over 2 hours?
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:47 PM   #3
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I don't have a NitrIte test kit. I bought the kits separate. I am thinking that if the Nitrates are down then the NitrItes must be down also.

That may be way off base though.
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:53 PM   #4
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Nitrates are the end result of ammonia and nitrite conversion. In order to monitor your parameters you need an ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test. Ammonia and nitrite are deadly to fish, nitrate is deadly in higher amounts. Undern 20 ppm is preferred in nitrate, 0ppm for ammonia and nitrite. If your nitrates are low, it does not necessarily mean your nitrites are low. You can purchase a FW master kit online for relatively cheap if they are expensive at your lfs. http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...rmastertestkit
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:19 PM   #5
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Is the acidity of the water a problem for Rams?
6.5 seems to be the most acidic that most of the other fish I have like. I see that Cichlids prefer more acidic water down to pH 5.

thanks for the link to Big Al's. I've been getting fleeced by my LFS on some of the chemical and hardware stuff. I guess that they have to stay in business though.
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Old 02-04-2007, 06:07 PM   #6
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What is the ph of your tap water? A stable ph is more important than trying to acheive the "perfect" ph. Are you doing anything to adjust your ph?
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
What is the ph of your tap water? A stable ph is more important than trying to acheive the "perfect" ph. Are you doing anything to adjust your ph?
This is a tricky subject for me. I understand that a stable pH is important.
Water out of my tap is 7.2 (maybe 7)
If I let it sit for 24 hours it falls to 6.8. I was told this is normal "gassing out" by folks on this board.

I put a conditioner in my tank with water changes to neutralize the chlorine (I'm told by our LFS that we don't have Chlormine in our tap water). This also lowers the Ph to 7 supposedly. It is called Neutral regulator by Sachem.

But my Tank water usually settles back to 6.8 after a day. I don't really know how to stabilize it. It goes in the tank through a python at 7.2, it goes down to 7 with the regulator and then falls to 6.8 as it gasses out.

I'm not doing large water changes (20 - 30%) so perhaps the 7.2 tap is going to dilute and not effect the whole tank. Perhaps the regulator is changing the whole tank from its seemingly natural 6.8 to 7. But somehow it falls back to 6.8. That seems to be where it always ends up.
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Old 02-05-2007, 01:58 AM   #8
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The low Ph of the water is not a problem tank bred Rams tolerate levels from 6.4 up to 8.2 and still spawn. What other fish do you keep with them?
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Old 02-05-2007, 03:02 PM   #9
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I keep them with
Neon Tetras
Guppies
Sail Fin pleco (I know he shouldn't be in a 20 Gallon tank - I was hoodwinked by the fish store and only ID him later)
African dwarf frogs.

I got a bottle of Prime so the Neutral Regulator is out of the picture.
Its just 7.2ph tap water going in and it seems to settle at 6.8.
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Old 02-05-2007, 03:48 PM   #10
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I know water seems the likely culprit here, but do you think maybe the tuna had something to do with it? Are GBRs sensitive to mercury (which is found in tuna)??? Just another thought on this....
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:23 AM   #11
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I didn't even think about the tuna. There's probably way too much protien in the tuna for them to handle. If they looked bloated it was most likeley the cause. I would stick to bloodworm and brineshrimp for feeding, the frogs will enjoy it too.
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